THE Chancellor’s £260m pledge to build a new future for the Borderlands is “transformational”.

That’s the view of Carlisle MP John Stevenson as a milestone set of cash packages for the region was confirmed.

Coupled with the £85m pledge from the Scottish government also announced yesterday, the borders region earned £345m for its ambitious regeneration scheme.

The Borderlands growth deal, a collaborative effort by the five councils lining the English and Scottish border, has been represented in Westminster by its officially appointed champion, Mr Stevenson.

He spoke of his delight at yesterday’s announcement from the Chancellor, made in his spring statement to the House of Commons.

“It’s absolutely terrific news,” said Mr Stevenson. “It’s another very significant investment into our region.”

He added that the £345m for the Borderlands project was on top of the £102m secured last month for the south Carlisle relief road development.

“Carlisle and the region is really starting to move ahead now. It’s about action, making sure money is going in for good reason to kickstart investment, create jobs and boost productivity.”

The Borderlands project has been scheduled to last 15 years, but Mr Stevenson was confident much of the investment would flow in from the Treasury sooner rather than later.

He went on to explain that now the funding commitments have been secured from Holyrood and Westminster, the details of exactly how the project moves forward will have to be hammered out.

He plans to meet with the representatives from each of the five councils in the new weeks.

“For Carlisle’s perspective we could see significant progress soon on transforming the railway station, to connect it better with the city.

“Further into the future we could see a renovation of the Citadel area around English Street.”

“Coupled with the garden village, the ring road and the airport, all of this recent news really is huge for Carlisle.”

City Council leader Colin Glover, representing one of the five councils involved in the Borderlands project, was delighted at the green light from the Chancellor.

“I would like to thank all those involved in the partnership for all their hard work,” he said.

“Our collective strong commitment has resulted in a multi-million-pound boost to our region.”

Mr Glover added that the project aims “to support our local communities and could all result in transformational change. Carlisle is the beating heart of the Borderlands region and we look forward to seeing our city grow.”

Following his spring statement, the chancellor assured Mr Stevenson that the Treasury wanted to see swift progress on getting the Borderlands project up and running.

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart said: “This is an incredibly special part of the United Kingdom and now that the funding for the Borderlands Growth Deal has been secured, we can really start to tap into its potential.

“I’m particularly looking forward to seeing how investment in the area’s tourism and broadband will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“I will continue to work closely with ministers, MPs and councillors on both sides of the border as we make the deal a reality.”

Mr Hammond’s spring statement was heavily Brexit-themed, with plans announced for a £26.6bn post-Brexit spending strategy.

He also said the economy had “defied expectations” since his Budget. Spending announcements included an £800m increase in non-NHS spending by the middle of the 2020s.